Formerly, bodily powers gave place among the aristoi. But since the invention of gunpowder has armed the weak as well as the strong with missile death, bodily strength, like beauty, good humor, politeness and other accomplishments, has become but an auxiliary ground of distinction.
The disarming of the militia was part of the monarchy’s long effort to disarm its subjects, especially its potentially troublesome ones. . . . In the interest of public order, minority groups and privileged elements were urged to rely on the protection of the crown, not upon their own devices. In the case of the Huguenots, this reliance was to be ill placed; in 1685 Louis XIV withdrew the state’s protection and began a policy of persecution.
— Lee Kennett and Jules LaVerne Anderson, The Gun in America (1975), p. 185, emphasis added
There exists a law, not written down anywhere, but inborn in our hearts, a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading, a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right.
-Marcus Tullius Cicero, Murder Trials, trans. Michael Grant (New York: Penguin, 1975), p. 279. Quoted in: Guns in Law (University of Massachusetts Press, 2019), p. 1.